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Ford cuts water use two years ahead of schedule

India Blooms News Service | 19 Jun 2014, 09:32 pm
New Delhi, June 19 (IBNS) Ford Motor Company is furthering its commitment to aggressively step up water conservation programs at its global facilities and among the company’s suppliers, according to its 15th annual Sustainability Report. Leaders at Ford believe it is a basic human right to have clean, affordable drinking water and access to sanitation, and last year Ford reduced per vehicle water use by 30 percent globally from a 2009 baseline, reaching its goal two years ahead of schedule. Plans are under way to further cut water use by another 2 percent this year and to set new long-term goals.

“As Ford continues with its largest global expansion in more than 50 years, the company also recognizes that working in regions struggling with water scarcity will soon make water a costly commodity,” said John Fleming, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs for Ford Motor Company. “From a business perspective, understanding future constraints and immediately reducing Ford’s water consumption makes sense.”

In April, Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally endorsed the CEO Water Mandate to more clearly define the company’s mission. The private-public initiative launched by the U.N. Secretary General in 2007 requires participating companies to report their water management progress annually.

Later this year, Ford will begin asking high water-use suppliers and those working in water-stressed regions to voluntarily report water consumption. Ford will then work with the suppliers to achieve reductions. The hope is that successful initiatives will be mirrored by other suppliers globally, helping Ford to significantly reduce its environmental footprint.

Across the globe, examples of Ford’s success with water conservation are numerous. In Chennai, India, Ford’s vehicle assembly and engine plant now recycles 100% of its wastewater, while in Chongqing, China, Ford’s two assembly plants recycle up to 100,000 gallons of water every day.

Adopting some of the best practices across its manufacturing operations in Chennai, Ford has also worked to reduce water consumption per car production by 30% in the past three years while saving on electricity consumption per car by 10%.

Ford’s upcoming facility in Sanand, Gujarat will boast of similar environment friendly measures starting from energy efficient equipment for installation at the site. In addition, the new facility will boast of an Environment Operating System (EOS) to monitor and control energy usage, water usage and waste management. The design of the new facility will achieve zero waste water discharge status.

In Asia Pacific, Ford has implemented a production process called Minimum Quantity Lubricant or MQL in the Changan Ford Engine Plant in Chongqing. 

MQL drastically reduces coolant and water use compared to conventional wet machining. For a production line producing 450,000 engines, MQL technology saves around 282,000 gallons of water per year.

Also, Ford plants in India, Thailand and China use three-wet paint technology and rotated-entry dip paint technology to reduce water as well as energy and material use.

These and other water-saving processes led to year-over-year water savings of 18% per vehicle in 2013 across the Asia-Pacific region.

“We realize water savings through new technologies and processes as well as through re-use and smart thinking,” said Todd Walton, manager, New Business, Environmental Quality Office, Ford Motor Company Asia Pacific.

“Water conservation is critical across the globe but especially in areas of increasing population and development. The water we save helps to sustain the health and prosperity of the region and its communities.”

Ford began strategically working to improve the company’s water impact globally in 2000 by setting year-over-year reduction targets as part of its Global Water Management Initiative. The success of the initiative is measurable.

Not only has the company reached its water-use-per-vehicle goal two years ahead of schedule, it cut global water use by 61 percent, or by more than 10 billion gallons, between 2000 and 2013. That savings is the equivalent of 1 billion five-minute-long showers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The total amount of water used around the globe at Ford facilities went from 64 million cubic meters per year to 25 million cubic meters.

Other highlights of Ford’s Sustainability Report include:

·         The sale of nearly 2.5 times more electrified vehicles in 2013 compared to 2012

·         Ford’s  actions to increase supply chain transparency and  ensure the materials in our products are sourced responsibly

·         An 18 percent reduction of CO2 emissions in the European fleet between 2007 and 2013

·         Ford’s priority to accelerate new product development. The 2014 global product launch features 23 new or significantly refreshed vehicles, the most of any year in a century

Ford cuts water use two years ahead of schedule

India Blooms News Service
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